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July 16th, 2019

Winter SkinCare!

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winter skincare

Chapped Lips

The contrast of the cold, wet weather outside and the harsh, dry heat inside during the winter months can take a serious toll on your lips. Dermatologist Doris Day, M.D. says that part of the problem is that the lips don’t have oil glands to produce a layer of protection. “That’s why you don’t normally get breakouts on your lips,” she says. Avoiding salt-covered foods, like chips or pretzels, will help. But whatever you do, don’t lick your lips! “It initially feels like it’s hydrating,” says Day, “but the cold wind and air quickly sap that hydration, leaving you feeling even dryer than before.” Your best bet is to seek out products like Vaseline that will lock moisture in and create a barrier to protect your lips from the cold and the heat.

Cracked Fingers

The same wet/dry combo that wreaks havoc on our lips when it’s cold outside can also lead to dry, cracked fingers; though we’re partly to blame ourselves, says Day. “We tend to overwash our hands in the wintertime because we’re so afraid of catching a cold,” she says. “When you wash your hands too much you’re stripping away the outer layers of skin and stripping away the natural oils.” The result is a damaging loss of moisture in our hands. She doesn’t suggest you skip the handwashing, but make a habit of applying a moisturizing lotion afterward and wearing gloves when you’re outside to hold in that hydration.

Dry Legs

Why does it seem like wintertime is nearly synonymous with ashy, scaly legs? “The further you go away from your heart, the less efficient the return of blood,” says Day. The process can leave our skin depleted of moisture and the effect is exaggerated in the winter when the cold weather inhibits circulation. As the days get colder, Day suggests swapping out your normal lotion for a moisturizing cream or ointment. Lotion, which is water-based, is fine in the summer when your skin can draw moisture naturally from the water in the air. But during the winter, a cream — which is oil-based — will both protect and hydrate your skin, and you won’t lose that moisture to evaporation. Moisturize often, especially after showering.

Sore, Red Nose

Your nose might be red and sore because of increased blood circulation from the cold (especially if you are a drinker). Rubbing from tissues can also cause irritation, and triggers such as stress and spicy foods can aggravate the problem. Avoid these triggers and keep your nose warm and covered with a scarf, as long as it’s not wool – wool scarves can irritate the skin and aggravate skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. A dab of Vaseline will offer an extra layer of protection from the elements and cut down on friction from tissues and scarves.

Acne on Dry Skin

If you’re naturally prone to acne, dry winter weather can turn your face into a combination skin battlefield. Look for acne medications designed for older, more mature skin, says Day, because they tend to target combination skin. Acne treatments with 0.5 percent salicylic acid, instead of the highest available (2 percent), will keep your face from becoming too dry. Use a light moisturizer on top of the acne medication so you’re still treating the blemishes first and foremost. Day also recommends experimenting with your beauty routine a bit until you find the right balance. “Try using your acne treatment just once a day or moisturizing every other day,” she suggests.

Winter Sun Damage

Sunscreen isn’t just for those lazy summer days by the pool. Winter sports have us outside in direct contact with the sun, making us prime targets. Sun damage isn’t always related to how hot it is outside, reminds Day. “The higher the altitude, the higher the intensity of the UV rays,” she says, which is why we’re at risk when we hit the slopes. So remember: As you climb into higher altitudes, increase the SPF and apply often.

Itchy, Itchy, Itchy

Redness and irritation from sweaters and scarves — no matter how stylish they look — can do a number on our skin when we’re trying to keep warm. “Friction from moisture in the air, our warm breath and sweat tends to worsen the problem,” says Day. Avoid wool if you know your skin is sensitive to it, she says, and try to pick a fabric that your skin can easily tolerate, such as cotton or cashmere. A layer of soft, breathable cotton in between you and your scratchy sweater can also help.

Heel Calluses

Stomping around in heavy boots to keep out the rain and snow may come as a shock to our pampered feet after being lavished with foot-soothing pedicures during the warmer months. Thick, dry heel calluses might just be the worst of it. “Skin is naturally thicker in those areas,” says Day, “so when the heels get dried out, they start cracking.” A good foot scrub or pumice stone can help file down the area. You can give your feet a DIY deep-moisturizing treatment by soaking them in lukewarm water with oil (olive oil is perfect and you probably already have it in your kitchen), aloe and honey for 5 to 10 minutes to soften tough spots. After patting them dry, Day recommends applying a hydrating foot cream, like Aquaphor, and covering your feet with heavy socks or plastic wrap to let the moisture fully penetrate.

Flaky Scalp

Dandruff can come on strong in the wintertime when decreased moisture in the air can leave your hair and scalp excessively dry. Day suggests switching to a dandruff shampoo, like Head & Shoulders or Selsun Blue, or trying one with salicylic acid such as Neutrogena T-Gel, which can soothe a variety of scalp conditions that can cause flakes. Wearing a breathable hat can also help protect your hair and scalp from the elements.

Athlete’s Foot

Some people are prone to fungal infections on their feet, but winter weather conditions and attire can make us all vulnerable. “Your feet get hot and sweaty and wet and it’s a perfect environment for fungus to grow,” says Day, especially when you wear heavy winter boots and shoes that don’t allow for proper ventilation. Day recommends looking for socks that will whisk moisture away, like ski socks, and avoiding synthetic materials like spandex and polyester that aren’t very breathable. “Cotton is easy and always a good idea,” she says. Sprinkling a store-bought anti-fungal powder, such as Zeasorb, in your shoes will also help absorb excess moisture. Don’t forget to keep your socks dry and to change and wash them often.


Related posts:

  1. Winter Itch
  2. Beat The Dryness
  3. Makeup and Beauty Trends for Winter 2010-2011
  4. Go For Heels
  5. 7 Days Skincare Plan

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